By Esat Firat
Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef on Sunday condemned a Syrian regime-suspected chemical weapons attack in Eastern Ghouta's Douma district which left at least 70 civilians dead and hundreds wounded.
"I've said it before and I’ll say it again: there is a cruel genocide happening in Syria against women and children with weapons of mass destruction," Yosef said.
Recalling the genocide Jews were subjected to, Yosef went on to say that it was a "moral obligation not to remain silent and to try to stop the massacre".
Amos Yadlin, the former head of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Military Intelligence Directorate, said on his social media account that Israel should ground the helicopters and fighter jets of the Assad regime.
"It is important that the U.S. repeat what it did one year ago – by responding in a way that damages Assad's ability to produce and launch chemical weapons," he said.
Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, said 70 civilians had been killed in the attack by regime forces in which toxic gas was used.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights published a report on April 4 announcing that the Syrian regime had carried out 214 chemical attacks since 2011 when the civil war erupted. According to the report, 11 of the 214 attacks came after the Khan Shaykhun incident in April last year, when 100 civilians were killed and 500 others were injured in a chemical attack by the Assad regime.
While Israeli clergymen and officials harshly condemned the Assad regime for the chemical attack in Douma, it was notable that they didn't mention anything related to the excessive force used by Israeli forces against peaceful Palestinian demonstrators near the Gaza border which have left dozens dead.
At least 31 Palestinians have been martyred by the Israeli forces since March 30 when the peaceful demonstrations began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The rallies are part of a six-week demonstration that will culminate on May 15, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment -- an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe".
Demonstrators demand that Palestinian refugees be granted the “right of return” to their towns and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
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